A King in New York (1957) - News Poster


Abel Ferrara’s ‘Go Go Tales’: Art, Commerce, Beauty, and Exploitation

Looking back on this still-young century makes clear that 2007 was a major time for cinematic happenings — and, on the basis of this retrospective, one we’re not quite through with ten years on. One’s mind might quickly flash to a few big titles that will be represented, but it is the plurality of both festival and theatrical premieres that truly surprises: late works from old masters, debuts from filmmakers who’ve since become some of our most-respected artists, and mid-career turning points that didn’t necessarily announce themselves as such at the time. Join us as an assembled team, many of whom were coming of age that year, takes on their favorites.

“Here in America there is no difference between a man and his economic fate. A man is made by his assets, income, position and prospects. The economic mask coincides completely with a man’s inner character. Everyone
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Criterion Collection: Limelight | Blu-ray Review

Though he would actually direct other features, including the ill received 1967 A Countess From Hong Kong, wherein Marlon Brando decided to be a mean girl to co-star Sophia Loren, and the neglected A King in New York (1957), many read the 1952 Limelight as Charles Chaplin’s ‘enduring’ final film. An appropriate approximation of his immortal Tramp character after fame has fallen away, the bittersweet tragicomedy wasn’t well-received at the time (though Bosley Crowther raved in The New York Times, hailing the film as “eloquent, tearful, and beguiling with supreme virtuosity”). McCarthyism succeeded in thwarting the film’s distribution, limiting the release to New York City and those labeling Chaplin a Communist picketed screenings where it did play. In the UK, the film’s release was less harried, with newcomer Claire Bloom securing a BAFTA win for Most Promising Newcomer. The film would receive a theatrical release for the first in Los Angeles twenty years later,
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New on Video: ‘Limelight’


Written and directed by Charles Chaplin

USA, 1952

Rightly dubbed a “supreme auteur” by David Robinson, who provides a video essay on the newly released Criterion Collection Blu-ray of Limelight, Charlie Chaplin wore many hats in making this 1952 film. Aside from writing, directing, and starring in the picture, he was the producer, he arranged the score, and he choreographed the dance sequences, in addition to other supervisory duties behind the scenes. Part of the preparation for the film even included Chaplin penning a novel on which the movie was based, called Footlights, which was then adapted with great ease by the author. Set in 1914 London (about the time Chaplin had left England for America), Limelight is a basically familiar showbiz story, with one performer’s career on the wane as another’s is ripe for revival, but there is far more to this late Chaplin classic. For the great comedian,
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Chaplin or The Weight of Myth

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By Mireille Latil-Le-Dantec. Originally published in Cinématographe, no. 35, February 1978 in an issue with a Chaplin dossier.

Translation by Ted Fendt. Thanks to Marie-Pierre Duhamel.

The Chaplinesque Quest

The overbearing weight of interpretative studies devoted to Chaplin makes any pretension to some "fresh look" at a universe already studied from every angle seem absurd from the outset. At least, on the occasion of the homages currently being made in theaters to the little man who would become so big, a few fragmentary re-viewings more modestly allow for the rediscovery of the thematic unity of this body of work and the inanity of any artificial divide between the "excellent" Charlie films and the "mediocre" Chaplin films – a divide corresponding, of course, to the event which his art was not supposed to have survived: the appearance of those talkies that – in the excellent company of Eisenstein, Pudovkin, René Clair and many others – he
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Echoes #16

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Alternating images from Charlie Chaplin's A King in New York (1957) and Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville (1965):

Much of Godard and Chaplin's concerns within these individual films are the same, and indeed A King In New York is on Godard's Top Ten of 1957 list, as well as topping Cahiers' overall list for that year. Buildings are terrifying, expressionistic structures of glass and steel. Violence is strange and jolting, both to the observer and the victim. We are forced to turn left or right, rather than making the conscious decision to do so. Both films take place in hotel rooms-galore, and in both cases the hotel's service consists of robotic human beings who understand nothing but complacency and subservience. The dawn of consumerism is a target of both works as well, and in both cases women look at us seductively but without feeling, as though they are part of advertisements themselves.
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Notebook's 5th Writers Poll: Fantasy Double Features of 2012

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Looking back at 2012 on what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2012—in theaters or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2012 to create a unique double feature.

All the contributors were asked to write a paragraph explaining their 2012 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch in that perfect world we know doesn't exist but can keep dreaming of every time we go to the movies.

How would you program some
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Chaplin: a little tramp through Charlie's love affairs

Robert Downey Jr sparkles as the British comedy giant but Richard Attenborough's film feels somewhat dutiful around him

Director: Richard Attenborough

Entertainment grade: C+

History grade: B+

Charlie Chaplin was a British comedian who became one of the earliest and greatest stars of Hollywood cinema.


The film begins with Chaplin's grim childhood in Victorian London, complete with an absentee father, a mentally ill mother (played by Geraldine Chaplin, the granddaughter of the real thing) and a stint in the workhouse. One night, when his mother sings in a music-hall show, her voice fails. Five-year-old Charlie is brought on to replace her. His precociously adorable performance brings the house down. Much though this rise-to-fame story sounds too good to be true, it is what Chaplin described in his autobiography.


In adulthood, Chaplin is played by Robert Downey Jr. The film makes a big deal of the 19-year-old
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Blu-ray Review: Modern Times (Criterion Collection)

About two years ago I started watching Charlie Chaplin films for the first time. I watched City Lights, The Great Dictator, The Kid, The Gold Rush and, of course, Modern Times. I didn't instantly take to his style of comedy or commentary, not the same as I instantly fell in love with Buster Keaton's work in The General, but as I watched each film my appreciation began to grow.

With only a few films under my belt when it comes to Chaplin and Keaton, I would probably still place myself more in Keaton's camp than Chaplin's. But with the thought of Criterion potentially adding the rest of Chaplin's classic features to their collection, and if the Blu-ray releases are as spectacular as their treatment of Modern Times, that won't stop me from wanting more, more, more.

Modern Times is the first Chaplin feature Criterion has added to their collection,
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Janus Films’ Charlie Chaplin Site Is Live! Complete With Images And Theatrical Touring Dates

This past May, the Criterion Collection e-mail newsletter announced that Janus Films had acquired the rights to distribute the works of Charlie Chaplin theatrically. We all celebrated in the notion that we would be able to hopefully see new clean prints of his incredible body of work, as well as the idea that these titles would inevitably make their way into the Criterion Collection.

Whether these titles would be available individually, in box sets (either in Criterion proper, or in the Eclipse Series), or some combination of the two, we still have not heard a definitive statement from Criterion. It is highly likely that we’ll get an announcement for either November or December, as many would love a complete Charlie Chaplin box set to find it’s way onto their holiday wish list.

Last month, Janus unveiled a poster image, as a placeholder on their website for an upcoming Charlie Chaplin sub-site,
See full article at CriterionCast »

Janus Teases At New Charlie Chaplin Site, Unveils Poster Art

In the May e-mail newsletter from Criterion, they announced that Janus had acquired the rights to the entire Charlie Chaplin catalog, causing cinephiles everywhere to collectively hold their breath at the prospect of adding the film legend into the Collection.

On June 19th, the American Cinematheque will be screening The Gold Rush along with several other Chaplin short films, courtesy of Janus Films. This past week, we saw another piece of Chaplin news, in that the film A Thief Catcher was discovered in an Antique Sale. The film features an extended cameo from Chaplin. It is unknown at this point where the rights to this film lie, and it is doubtful that it is part of the licensing deal that Janus has with the Chaplin catalog. A Thief Catcher represents the 82 film in his official filmography, which spanned from 1914 through 1967.

To celebrate Janus’ upcoming screening run, and eventual release in the Criterion Collection,
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Janus Films Acquires Rights To Charlie Chaplin Catalogue, Is A Criterion Box Set Inevitable?

Along with the brand new cartoon that we here at Criterion Cast have been analyzing, the recent Criterion newsletter has also brought with it some really interesting news.

According to the newsletter, Janus Films has been able to acquire the rights to the entire Charlie Chaplin film catalogue, and will be bringing his films back to the big screen. The distributor will be bringing these films to theaters in a retrospective, called Chaplin, starting July 16 at the Film Forum in New York. The first film will be the 1928 film, The Circus, and will run for just one week.

Other films that will be showing include The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, Limelight, A King In New York, and also a collection of comedy shorts. The films will be getting new 35mm prints to be shown, and is a must see event for any cinephile. I haven
See full article at CriterionCast »

This Week On DVD and Blu-ray: February 9, 2010

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Bronson Bronson made my Top 25 of 2009 coming in at #7 and it's a film I find immensely watchable and rewatchable. While a few people disagreed with my "A" review, they all loved Tom Hardy in the lead role. Be sure to check this one out. A Serious Man The Coen brothers' latest film also made my Top 25 of 2009 coming in at #25 and I also just recently reviewed the Blu-ray edition. My opinion says buy it, but you may want to give my review a read if you are on the fence. The Time Traveler's Wife I actually don't mind this movie all that much. When it comes to schmaltzy melodramas some can be overbearing and some can actually work... for the most part this one falls into the latter category. This one drew some negativity for the rather creepy idea
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